Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to common questions regarding COVID-19 and OSU's response. Questions and answers are updated frequently, so check back often for more information. These FAQs represent key topics and are answered from a university perspective. Check unit websites for more specific information.

There may be situations where you find that a grant-funded student or staff member is not able to perform their duties, and you may have questions about continuing to charge their time to your grant. Under these conditions, the staff member should utilize the federally-mandated 80-hour COVID leave. Note that, following OSU leave policies, the leave will be applied proportionally to all indices associated with the labor distribution of the staff member, including grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, gift, or other funds.

If an employee has used up their COVID leave and all other leave balances but still cannot perform their duties, please contact your assigned Human Resources Strategic Partner or a member of the Employee and Labor Relations Team to discuss the details of the situation.

Last updated: March 31, 2020

The COVID-19 leave will be paid and charged to departments under the same process as current sick leave. Grants will be responsible for this unanticipated expense.

Last updated: March 24, 2020

OSU is keeping track of any leave that a grant-funded employee used because they could not work due to COVID-19 so that the costs on grants due to the COVID-19 crisis can be documented and communicated.  Employees who are not able to perform their duties remotely and have exhausted COVID-19 leave should use accrued sick leave and vacation (when applicable). For more details, see details on the HR COVID-19 Leave page.

If an employee is using accrued sick, vacation of other leave (other than COVID-19) because they cannot perform their duties due to COVID-19, they should indicate this when recording the leave (see instructions).

Last updated: April 8, 2020

All OSU employees:

Employees who are not able to perform their duties remotely and cannot be reassigned to other work for the sponsored project and have exhausted COVID-19 Leave, accrued paid leave and any supplemental programs (as listed below), cannot continue to get paid for work that has not been rendered. This applies to all sources of salary funding (state, gift, grant, other funding). If you believe that you or an employee will be in this situation, please contact your Human Resources (HR) Strategic Partner.

OSU research employees:

OSU encourages principal investigators and research supervisors to identify meaningful work for research employees that brings value to the university’s mission and advances a research project and scholarship. During the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to the extent possible, PIs and supervisors should reassign graduate research assistants, research associates and faculty research assistants to undertake work that might fall outside of an originally intended work plan but still is in keeping with the intent of the project or grant and advances their research.

Last updated: July 21, 2020

Eighty hours of paid leave is federally mandated. Eighty hours of leave is available to all OSU employees, regardless of the funding source that provides salary (e.g. state funding, grant funding, gift or alternative funding). Individuals paid on grants will be entitled to the leave in the same way as other OSU employees, and their salary should continue to be charged to the grant and other indices per allowability guidelines regardless of usage of COVID leave or other leave. 


If an alternative funding mechanism materializes at a future date, we will assist in moving labor charges as appropriate, but no such funding mechanism is currently available.


The total amount of COVID-19 leave hours will be pro-rated by FTE or average hours worked for part time employees.

Last updated: March 5, 2021